This Super Creamy Mulligatawny Soup is going to ROCK your world! It’s so rich, so creamy, so good, that I was literally spooning molten hot soup into my mouth before it even had time to cool down! I went back for 2nds, 3rds, and finally stopped when I felt like I was going to burst if I ate another bite. It’s that good.
The history of this Anglo-Indian dish is long and varied and as such, everyone seems to have their own distinct recipe. The dish came about during the time of the British Raj. Colonists, wanted a soup course served with their dinner and so Tamil servants developed a stew-like dish made of pepper and water. In fact, the Tamil words mullaga/milagu and thanni can be translated to ‘pepper water’. Recipes were brought back to England and it’s popularity spread throughout the Commonwealth.
Many of the Mulligatawny recipes are resemble a stew, with big chunks of veggies, some others are pureed. I went a step further and after blending a combination of spices, browned veggies, chicken stock, and cream, I sent it through a fine mesh strainer, so what you’re left with is a truly silky-smooth texture. I then added the coconut milk, red lentils, a small dice of potatoes, and chicken. The result… a soup so rich and creamy, and so full of incredible flavors, your tastebuds are going to do their happy dance. In fact, the soup is thick enough, that if you wanted to serve it over rice, that would be another delicious option.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 green apple, cored and roughly chopped
- 1 vine ripe tomato, roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño, sliced
- 8 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
- ½ teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon whole coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon whole mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- 2 cups good quality chicken stock
- ½ pint heavy cream
- 2 14-ounce cans unsweetened coconut milk
- pinch of white pepper
- 1 russet potato, peeled and cut into a small dice
- ½ cup dry red lentils
- sour cream, garnish
- cilantro, roughly chopped, garnish
- In a 5 quart pot, warm the oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breast with salt and pepper and add to the hot pot. Cook for 5 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook for 4 minutes on the second side. Transfer to a plate, tented with foil.
- In the same pot, over medium-high heat, add the carrots, celery, onion, apple, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, and ginger. Stirring occasionally, cook until tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- While the veggies are cooking, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds and toast just until fragrant. Shake the pan frequently to make sure they don't burn. (Don't walk away, toasting spices doesn't take long). Immediately remove from heat and transfer the spices to a coffee/spice grinder. Grind to a fine powder.
- Transfer the cooked veggies to a blender. Add the freshly ground spices you just toasted, the curry powder, turmeric, chicken stock, and cream. Puree until relatively smooth (it's ok if it's still slightly chunky).
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer into the pot you used to cook the vegetables. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to press the liquid out of the vegetable pulp. Add the coconut milk, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, and a pinch of white pepper. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the potatoes and lentils and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, chop up the chicken into the same size pieces as you did the potatoes, and add to the soup during the last few minutes of cooking. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
- Divide the soup into bowls and garnish with sour cream and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!
* Turmeric will stain anything porous - so be careful of your clothing and if you have leftovers, store in a glass container.
* Inspired by: Serious Eats
Wow! This soup is sooo creamy! I believe all the ingredients really work together and create a meal that tastes like heaven. I’m so excited at the idea of giving it a try! Really in the mood for something like this.
Thank you so much for this inspiration and all of the useful tips. I adore your blog. Keep the awesome recipes coming!
Going to have to try this without the chicken and dairy.
Hi Deanna! I sometimes make this without chicken as well. If you’re interested in a dairy-free option, feel free to use a little more unsweetened coconut milk.
I never heard of this soup before, but it looks and sounds amazing! I’ll definitely have to try it 🙂
Oh it’s such a wonderful soup – definitely a must-try!
Kathleen this sounds so incredible!! And the color! Oh my lord! Just gorgeous honey!!!!!
Janette (@culinaryginger) says
I am very familiar with Mulligatawny soup. Growing up in England it was a popular recipe in our house and I can’t believe I’ve never made it myself. I must try your recipe, looks so colorful and delicious.
I too have heard of mulagawtany soup, but didn’t know what it was. This sounds so delicious, and indian and english food/spices are definitely on hand in our little island, so this is on my list to make soon.
Great! That’s one of the really nice things about this dish – you can get some really fantastic flavors, with ingredients easily found at the grocery store. Hope you enjoy!
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
I’ve heard of mulagatawny soup, but reading this made me realise I really had no idea what it was! It sounds absolutely divine, Kathleen! I would be going back for seconds and thirds too. I love that it’s so packed full of goodness, but also so creamy. Mmmm!
Oh, Helen! I know you’re going to love this soup – it’s like a giant flavor-bomb of creamy goodness!
Natasha @ Salt and Lavender says
This looks so tasty… and beautiful. How did you get the cream swirled so nicely? I always fail when I try that!!
Squeeze bottle! You can pick them up at any kitchen store. I use them all the time to garnish dishes – love them 🙂
Natasha @ Salt and Lavender says
Thanks for the tip! I will have to pick one up.
karrie @ Tasty Ever After says
I’ve only had this as a stew so loving your super silky version! I’m all about soups right now because there’s snow and lots of it here in NH. To me, there’s nothing better than making a big pot of soup every week so I can eat it for dinner and have leftovers for lunch for a few days. So glad to have your recipe now so I can switch it up a bit and make a new kind of soup. Plus it’s healthy and it will help me stick to my so-called diet 🙂
Oh my gosh – I LOVE NH! Such a gorgeous place! I remember the fist time driving through in the winter and seeing snowmobiles pull up to the gas station like it was any other car – never seen anything like that before! So I can understand why you’re on the hunt for comforting soups! Hope you’re staying warm up there, Karrie!
Bam's Kitchen says
Yum!!! Loads of spices and aromatics make this a must make soup this winter. I have never made this before but have everything I need to get this going. I will have to sub out coconut cream for the heavy cream but think that will be delicious too. Really delicious! Have a super weekend and just pinned and stumbled!
Oh I know you’re going to love it, Bobbi! I’ve made it 4 times in one week 😉
Sweet and Savoury Pursuits says
This soup sounds amazing and looks like silk in a bowl. So interesting to know the history of the dish, much of the time we have no clue how or where a dish comes from.
Isn’t the history of food/recipes so interesting?! Now that’s my kind of history book 😉
Thao @ In Good Flavor says
When the bulk of the broth is composed of coconut milk, I’m in (and a 1/2 pint of heavy cream is an added bonus)! I can almost taste the silkiness of the broth and the warmth of the spices. Such a lovely soup, Kathleen!
YES! I love the flavor coconut milk brings to dish – such wonderful depth!